World’s First Japan Rail Cafe Now In Singapore

Diners can purchase Japan Rail Passes and enjoy cuisine from different regions at the travel-themed cafe

Photos: Japan Rail Cafe

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The cafe is East Japan Railway Company (JR East)’s first overseas venture.

After encountering a slew of character cafes this year, it was particularly refreshing to discover the travel-themed Japan Rail Cafe.

The first of its kind in the world, the cafe is East Japan Railway Company (JR East)’s first overseas venture.

For the uninitiated, JR East primarily serves the Kanto and Tohoku regions in Japan. Those who’ve been to the Land of the Rising Sun should be pretty familiar with it!

With its overarching aim to promote Japan travel in Singapore, the cafe is primed to be a one-stop-shop for travelers and hungry cafe hoppers alike.

The spacious cafe is decked out in warm shades of wood and bright pops of teal. Rail tracks also run all around the cafe, from the walls to the ceilings — a quirky nod to its theme.

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Upon entering, a Japan Rail Pass Counter greets you with its huge sign.

Buy your rail passes here

Upon entering, a Japan Rail Pass Counter greets you with its huge sign. Here, customers can purchase exchange orders for JR passes before their trips at the instore rail pass ticketing counter operated by JTB Pte Ltd.

Best of all, the range of rail passes covers not only JR East but all other passes issued by the five other Japan Railway companies, namely JR Kyushu, JR West, JR Shikoku, JR Central and JR Hokkaido. This covers almost all regions in Japan!

The menu comes in the form of a well-designed newsletter, which currently highlights the Tohoku region of Japan.

Foodies will be delighted to know that a special menu will be launched each month, where representative dishes of a region will be featured, alongside regular items.

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In light of the Tohoku region showcase, diners will also be able to savour the Kaisen Avocado Don.

Regional delights

The dishes, though simple, are fuss-free, well-thought out and delicious. In fact, the variety is reminiscent of the quick-service eateries so often found near the rail stations in Japan.

Their signature Ultimate ABC Burger ($19) is a treat for the palette.

ABC stands for the key ingredients that make up the burger — avocado, bacon and cheddar cheese, which complements the juicy wagyu beef patty within. The slightly sweet and soft buns make the perfect vessel for these hearty fillings.

In light of the Tohoku region showcase, diners will also be able to savour the Kaisen Avocado Don.

The donburi (rice bowl) bursts with the freshness of ingredients like sashimi, ikura (fish roe) and aomori scallops. Topped with mentaiko, sesame and seaweed, the dish is equal parts hearty and healthy.

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Customise your own Watashino Curry Rice.

If you’re a fan of Japanese curry, be sure to try the Watashino Curry Rice ($18).

The satisfying combination of the black pepper-based curry and 10 grain rice is elevated by the fact that you can customise the dish with various mains. Pick from the likes of crispy chicken cutlet, fried oyster and crab cream korokke.

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Each month, the retail corner will feature various food items from the featured region.

Retail and workshops

After you’ve eaten your fill, check out the retail corner at the cafe, lovingly curated by Oishii Japan. Each month, the retail corner will feature various food items from the featured region.

Plus, there’ll be a range of products from JR East’s retail stores and shopping malls inside JR East train stations — a manifestation of Japan’s new lifestyle phenomenon “Eki Naka”, which means “in-station shopping”.

And if you’re planning a trip to Japan, the monthly seminars and workshops held at the cafe will be exceptionally useful to attend.

The cafe looks set to collaborate with partners including Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Japanese local governments and Japanese corporations.

Looks like the Japan Rail Cafe isn’t just for train otakus!

#01-20/21 Tanjong Pagar Centre, 5 Wallich Street

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